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Veronica Zaráte Toscano

Decent Essays
Rough Draft: Los expectativos del género ocultados por la tela oscura
In his review of Veronica Zaráte Toscano’s book Los nobles ante la muerte en México. Actitudes, ceremonias y memoria (1750-1850) Elías Trabulse expressed appreciation for Zaráte Toscano’s intent and primary argument. The basis for her book was the exploration of funerary rites of the Mexican noble classes; she believed this field of study would unveil more about its practitioners than the deceased themselves and reveal underlying correlations between wealth and spirituality. The passing of my great aunt 150 years after the end of Zaráte Toscano’s research period surprisingly mirrored the funerary practices she touched upon. Despite the fact that I had not matured into womanhood
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There is a common expression “llevo los pantalones” its intended meaning translates to “I can act like a man”-this article of clothing has masculine attitudes embedded it. Evelyn P. Stevens directly referenced the importance of mourning practices and Marianismo; she called the mourning practices social representations of the sadness a proper Hispanic woman should display when in grief. Social constructs also dictated which colors and the duration of their wear were appropriate for each kind of death. For example the loss of husband meant a woman was to wear solely black for the remainder of her lifetime but the loss of a brother (or a family member of similar importance) meant black garments were to be worn for three years, white and black for five more years and after an appropriate passage of time “brighter colors” like grey and lavender were acceptable. Men were also held to these rules but because they were not as morally fortified as women they were readily excused for their failings. The only women that were not expected to uphold these standards were women that had already put their entire sex to shame, like prostitutes or mistresses. The abidance to these (what we would view now as ridiculous) socially mandated dress codes were necessary to protect ones’ own and their family’s respectability. Women that removed their black shawls or woolen overcoats in the summer heat exposed themselves to ridicule and gossip at the hands of their peers. This self-policing of garments perpetuated the philosophies tied to the traditions that inspired them and extolled demanding standards that dictated what it meant to be a real man or
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